Leading graphics card manufacturer Nvidia believes the PlayStation 4’s GPU to be more powerful than the one inside the upcoming Xbox 720. Their opinion is significant because they were in talks with Sony to develop the chipsets for the PS4 and probably with Microsoft for the next Xbox so they would have seen system specification information direct from the manufacturers.
They were at the Game Developers Conference last week and were hosting a talk. They put up a slide called ‘Console versus PC performance over time.’ The purpose being to show that Titan their new premium graphics card is three times more powerful than the next-gen consoles. The numbers on the slide equates the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as being on the same GPU Flops level. But more interesting is that according to Nvidia, the PS4 is more powerful than the Xbox 720 when measured by GPU Flops.
Before making a new console Sony and Microsoft shop around for the best parts for the best price. When it comes to chipsets there are only two manufacturers who can deliver the required power and scale of production and they are Nvidia and AMD.
Nvidia in negotiations with Sony and Microsoft would have seen proposed console specs and would be subject to strict non-disclosure agreements. They have seen the PS4 specs but turned down the opportunity to develop components because the profit margins were too low. Nvidia made the NV2A GPU that was used in the original Xbox so it is highly likely that they also saw the Xbox 720 specs. However this slide does not actually reveal any specs, it just suggests that they have seen them both and making an informed opinion that the GPU Flops level on the PS4 is higher. This should not be interpreted as a definitive judgement on the next-gen consoles’ power as Microsoft could have increased the power of their console since Nvidia saw the desired specs.